Tennis |
Fed Cup - TBD
Czech Republic Petra Kvitova
France Kristina Mladenovic
Semifinals :: View full scoreboard
Fed Cup - TBD
Russian Federation Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
Germany Sabine Lisicki
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Fed Cup - TBD
Czech Republic Lucie Safarova
France Caroline Garcia
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Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters - TBD
Czech Republic (6) Tomas Berdych
France (14) Gael Monfils
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Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters - TBD
Serbia (1) Novak Djokovic
Spain (3) Rafael Nadal
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After Blazer glory, Rockets eye new story (April 18, 2015)
Calvin Watkins [ Source: ESPN ]

Damian Lillard sealed Houston's fate last season. This time, the Rockets seek a different outcome. Craig Mitchelldyer/USA TODAY Sports

HOUSTON -- Dwight Howard was asked what was learned from last year’s playoff-series loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.

The Houston Rockets center answered swiftly.

“Anything can happen in .9 seconds,” he said.

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Tony Allen and Mike Conley, who both missed extended time this season, are angling to return for Game 1 against the Blazers. Justin Ford/USA TODAY Sports

The Memphis Grizzlies played the regular-season stretch run without a pair of key contributors. As they embark on their fifth consecutive playoff run, they finally appear ready to play at full strength.

Point guard Mike Conley, who sat out the final four games with a right foot sprain, and guard Tony Allen, who missed the last nine with a right hamstring issue, told reporters after Friday's practice that they plan to return for Game 1 of their first-round playoff series against the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday.

"I'm progressing each day. That's all I can ask for right now," Conley said, according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal. "I'll go through as much as I can [at practice]. They don't want me doing too much. The best thing for me is to stay off my feet. ... But in my mind, I'm playing [Game 1]. I'm trying to force my mind over my body."

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NBA to use ref names alongside calls in play-by-play reports (April 18, 2015)
Associated Press [ Source: ESPN ]


NEW YORK -- The NBA will include referee names in its official play-by-play feeds alongside all calls reported to the table starting with the playoffs.

The league said Friday the calls will include fouls, technical fouls and all violations, such as goaltending, lane violations and 3-second violations.

The officials' names will be included into the game reports and box scores that appear online.

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International Basketball

CAGAYAN DE ORO – The Philippine national youth basketball team became the first Southeast Asian team to book a ticket to the FIBA Asia Under-16 Championship after Batang Gilas picked up a second win – a lopsided 57-point drubbing of Thailand – the SEABA Under-16 tournament on Friday.

Despite the accomplishment, Batang Gilas coach Michael Oliver admitted that he wasn’t happy with how the game played out.

“Actually kanina, after nga nung game kahit nanalo kami, sinabi ko sa mga players hindi ako happy,” Oliver told in an exclusive interview.

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 NBA former player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar during the NBA All Star skill contest at Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - NBA Hall of Fame center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the league's all-time leading scorer, is recovering from quadruple coronary bypass surgery, Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center said on Friday.

Dr. Richard Shemin, who performed the operation on Thursday, said Abdul-Jabbar was expected to make a full recovery.

Abdul-Jabbar, who marked his 68th birthday on Thursday, was diagnosed with cardiovascular disease earlier in the week.

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Stephon Marbury’s newest Chinese honor: a stamp (April 18, 2015)
Mac Berman [ Source: NYPost ]

 Stephon Marbury at the Beijing International Film Festival. Photo from NYPost

Stephon Marbury has a statue in front of the arena, a play based on his life, three Chinese Basketball Association titles and now will have a postage stamp named in his honor in a ceremony Saturday in Beijing, according to the former Knick.

The Coney Islander has won three titles for the Beijing Ducks in four years, including last month’s triumph over the Liaoning Flying Leopards, during which he was series MVP.

“It’s starting to take on a life of its own,’’ Marbury told The Post on Friday.

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Paul Lee scored 16 of his 20 points in the second half of their Game 2 victory. Sports5/Paul Ryan Tan

Rain or Shine guard Paul Lee vowed to play through pain throughout the PBA Commissioner’s Cup finals despite suffering an ankle injury in Game Two.

“‘Yun ang gagawin ko muna siguro, tapusin ko yung series kahit anong mangyari kasi gustung gusto ko mag-champion para makita rin ng teammates ko na baka makakuha sila ng lakas ng loob sakin na kahit may mangyari na tuloy pa rin,” Lee said.

In the first quarter of the Elasto Painters’ 116-108 win, Lee hurt his ankle after a strong drive and clashing with Talk ‘N Text’s Matt Ganuelas-Rosser. The prolific guard stayed after the hit but was visibly hobbled.

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Warriors look to extend magical run into postseason (April 18, 2015)
Jahmal Corner [ Source: Reuters ]

 Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) gestures with three fingers as Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) shoots and scores a three point basket against the Memphis Grizzlies during the second quarter at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA...

(Reuters) - The Golden State Warriors enjoyed a dream season as they raced to the best mark in the NBA but their lack of playoff experience leaves them with much to prove heading into the post-season.

Under first-year coach Steve Kerr the high-octane Warriors compiled a franchise-best 67 wins with an exhilarating brand of play that stole the spotlight.

But Golden State's style leaves no guarantee that they will achieve championship substance amidst a sea of contenders for the NBA's Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy.

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 Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) drives to the basket in the third quarter against the Boston Celtics at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - LeBron James could not bring Cleveland a NBA title during his initial stint with the Cavaliers but in the first season of his second go-round with the team, he has them looking like true contenders for a championship.

A shaky beginning marked his return, James at times looking sluggish during the Cavaliers' 6-7 start, but after he took time off in January to rest his body, the team has become one of the Eastern Conference's best.

Still, despite taking over a team that missed the playoffs last year and spearheading a 20-win improvement along with a division title, James is remaining cautious.

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Jayson Castro erupted for a career-high 44 points against Rain or Shine in Game 2 of the Commissioner's Cup Final. Sports5/Paul Ryan Tan

Talk ‘N Text star Jayson Castro has been an absolute force of nature in these PBA Commissioner’s Cup playoffs.

In Friday’s Game Two of the finals, it was the same story as Castro scored a career-high 44 points on 13-for-23 shooting from the field and 9-for-14 from three-point range.

Rain or Shine was at a loss on how to defend him in the first half, where he poured in a whopping 27 points.

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